Original article (link) posted: 20/10/2005
Aumann (1985) “What is Game Theory Trying to Accomplish?” in Frontiers of Economics
This is a survey article by Professor Aumann, a Nobel Laureate of this year. The paper consists of 18 sections. The first 8 sections concerned with generalities of game theory with particular attention of the concept of science, sections 9-17 illustrate four equilibrium concepts (Nash Equilibrium, Core, Von Neumann-Morgenstern Stable Set, and Shapley Value) with applications, and section 18 concludes. In the first half of the paper, he put his point of view about game theory (or economics) as a science, which is very deep and insightful. It is highly recommended to read first 8 chapters for those who are interested in such questions as “What is (social) science?” and “What is the definition of science or truth?”.
His main claim is stated in Introduction as follows;
A solution concept (could be replaced with “a scientific theory”) should be judged more by what it does than by what it is; more by its success in establishing relationships and providing insights into the workings of the social processes to which it is applied than by considerations of a priori plausibility based on its definition alone.